tv Prime News HLN October 9, 2009 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT
heads of state meeting. we are certainly waiting on some of that as we move forward. i think you heard the president say clearly today the importance of the issue of allegis and climate change and the need for the world to act collectively in order to make progress on in issue that threatens the health of the planet. . . >> he said the hyde amendment
would permit abortion funding. yesterday in a letter that you sent to congress, he said if language expressly preventing abortion funding was not added to the health bill, they would vigorously protest. to eliminate this as an issue will he call on congress to have an explicit prohibition on abortion funding? >> there may be legal interpretation that has been lost here, but there is a fairly clear federal law prohibiting the federal use of money for abortion. i think it is exceedingly clear. >> [unintelligible]
>> i think that what is exceedingly clear. >> [unintelligible] he will work fort -- harder than ever for global peace. >> obviously without getting into a lot of details, i think it goes without saying that india is an important ally. after we get back from our trip to asia, the president's first state dinner, and obviously we continue to be very engaged with india to bring about peace in an obviously important region of the world.
>> can you talk more about the delegation? >> the white house earlier circulated polls showing that the united states'standing in the world has improved dramatically since the president took office. can you talk about what this prize says about that, and what it says about president bush's standing in the world? >> i will leave that to the marietta of pundits and reiterate what i said earlier -- i will leave that to the myriad of pundits.
having reestablished dirk leadership through engaging world and active diplomacy on issues like nuclear nonproliferation and climate change and peace in the middle east, that is a good thing both here for our safety and security and is a good thing for the world and the ideals that we hope to achieve. there are shared by billions on the planet. i think is something the president is enormously proud of. >> the taliban has put statements on websites. represented have been on news broadcast, apparently trying to influence the decision making process of the president. does he see these statements, and how does evaluate their meaning? >> i have not seen them, so i am not aware. >> to interpret new things, with
the announcement this weekend of an openly gay ambassador, is there anything you besides those developments that the president might highlight in his speech? >> i think he will talk about a range of issues. one that you just mentioned, i do not want to zoom past that one that quickly. obviously the hate crimes protections are long overdue. the president believes that their passage represents an important step and looks forward to when that legislation gets to his desk,
signing it and making that a lot of the land. i think that is certainly part of what he will discuss on saturday night. >> is the president still working on the speech? >> he is, absolutely. >> i think around the world this speech is taken as a symbol of peace. when we listen to the president, when we listen to you now, it is in caveat. we talk about the peace in the middle east. we talk about everything. we do not talk about peace in general as a goal. can you give us the reassurance that the united states will not -- it will do everything in its
power to keep peace from being broken by others. >> obviously, the president has worked each and every day on issues like the least in an effort to bring greater peace and stability throughout the world. he has talked about, in different speeches throughout his career, steps that have to be done to protect this country, but i think everybody, regardless of who you are in this country, wants to see peace, not only throughout here but throughout the world. >> this is a man of peace now.
[laughter] >> i noticed your boots were a little wet. >> he is a man of peace now, but how can this administration handled or deal with the fact that some are questioning the fact that he is not a nobel peace prize winner, but he is trying to -- >> as i just mentioned, there are actions of necessity that will be and are taken by this country to protect our homeland. the discussion that will be had today is about a very dangerous region of the world, and there are steps that have to be taken to ensure that we are not
attacked and that our allies are not attacked. those are steps, again, the president mentioned quite clearly in his speech, that he will make, not lightly, as commander-in-chief, but he will work every day to protect us. >> is a double-edged sword? >> there are a number of ways you can look at it. i did not know what the other edge is. >> how can you turn down a man who has won a nobel peace prize? >> when the president walks back over to the regiment, whatever humility was lacking has been restored. >> in the assessment meeting today about afghanistan, will he go over it specific questions about specific troop levels?
>> i might have been careless in the phrasing of that. the bulk of the meeting will be spent on his original assessment. i do not know whether the resource request that is related to that initial assessment is something that we will get to or how much that will get into debt, but it certainly could come up today. >> the trooper crest was as many as 60,000? >> -- a troop request was as many as 60,000? >> i am not going to get into that. >> it said explicitly that it
also vowed is his effort in climate change policy. you think it gives new momentum to the climate bill, and does it increase the chance that he will not go empty-handed to copenhagen? >> obviously we are continuing to work on, in conjunction with congress, insuring that we are continuing to make progress on that important legislation. some legislation has now been introduced in the senate, as i mentioned a couple of weeks ago, that has gone to the house earlier this summer. i think it is important for the world to understand that the u.s. is taking long overdue but important steps to ensuring that we are part of that solution. i think as the president said earlier today, the problems that the allied and the challenges we have are not going to be solved
by one man or one nation, at least until other developing nations, the chinese, indians, brazilians, also come to that larger table with solutions that are not just voluntary, but that embody international collective action to address that issue. obviously the president has promised an stake is believed that it is important to do this, and we will continue to work on it through the end of the year. if that happens, we would certainly be proud to do that. >> i realize the meeting was still going on when you came down, but anything on the ne request about afghanistan?
>> i was told it was a general meeting. the president has used meetings throughout the last many months to discuss afghanistan and pakistan. i will try to get a better read out on his views on those issues. >> a question about local politics. just for the sake of clarity, can you say who exactly the president supports in the race up in the city? >> new york city.in the city? [laughter]
>> the president is the leader of the democratic party, and as that, would support the democratic nominee. the president obviously has had a chance threw out campaigning and his time both as a candidate and as a president to meet, no, and work with mayor bloomberg, and obviously has a tremendous amount of respect for what he has done as well. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> next, president obama calls on congress to pass a financial
regulation bill by the end of the year. he also talked about his plan to create a consumer financial protection agency. from the white house, this is just over 10 minutes. [applause] >> thank you so much. thank you, everybody. thank you so much. please be seated. thank you for sharing your story and doing such a wonderful job. before i start my remarks, i want to acknowledge the people who have been working diligently on this issue, in some cases for years. first of all, our secretary of the treasury, tim geithner is here. christina romer, the chair of my counsel of economic advisers is here.
the senator from hawaii, the representative from idaho and pennsylvania, represented al green from texas, karen mills, our debt outstanding administrator of the small business administration, sheila bair, who has been doing a historic job trying to deal with the baking situation as chairman of the fdic, mayor michael nutter of philadelphia, and my national economic adviser, larry summers. finally, we have the special guests, some of the finest attorney generals who are fighting against consumer fraud and have been dealing with the consequences of the issues we are discussing here today. i am proud to have them here, my
former seatmate in the illinois state senate, attorney general lisa madigan, andrew cuomo of new york, martin copley of massachusetts, and war cooper of north carolina. please give them all a big round of applause. [applause] now, for the last several months, this administration has been working with congress to reform an outdated system of financial regulations and oversight that helped lead to last year's crisis. i want to thank the people here who are working tirelessly on this issue, first of all chairman chris dodd of the senate banking committee, chairman barney frank of the house financial services committee, richard shelby, also of the senate banking committee,
for the leadership and enthusiasm that they have shown throughout this process. part of our reform effort involves putting in place new safeguards that would help prevent the irresponsibility and recklessness of you for wreaking havoc on our entire financial system. you want to close gaps in regulation, it eliminate overlap, and set rules of the road for wall street that make fair dealing and honest competition the only way for financial firms to win and prosper. but, a central part of our reform effort is also aimed at protecting americans to buy financial products and services every day, from mortgages to credit cards. it is true that the crisis we faced was caused in part by people who took on too much debt and took out loans they could not afford. my concerns are the millions of
americans to behave responsibly and yet still found themselves in jeopardy because of the predatory practices of some in the potential industry. these are folks who sign contracts that did not always understand, offered by lenders who did not always tell the truth. they were lured in by promises of lower payments, never made aware of the fine print and hidden fees. secretary geithner and i just finished meeting with some of these americans to join us here today. you have already heard from tricia, who was forced to pay thousands of dollars in interest on a $550 it paid a loan. we also heard from susan, who had an excellent payment history until she was contacted by a broker told her that she could lower the monthly payments on her mortgage. instead, the loan they sold her ended up increasing her debt and a principle has not gone up $20,000.
we talked to karen, who is still fending off foreclosure because her mortgage company duped into taking not too expensive loans when they had originally promised her a one low, fixed rate mortgage. we talked to maxine givens, whose bank hit her with four separate overdraft charges because of one mortgage check that they ended up rejecting the very next day. i should add, by the way, that this is a cpa we are talking to. if it is happening to her, then imagine what the rest of us who can barely add are dealing with. we talked to andrew, whose bank made a mistake that cost him $800 in overdraft fees. when he caught the mistake, the bank only refunded part of the fees. as we have seen over the last
year, abuses like these do not just jeopardize the financial well-being of individual americans. they can threaten the stability of the entire economy. it's a patchwork system of regulations we have now has failed these abuses, with several -- seven different federal agencies having accountability. no single agency whose sole job is to stand up for people like patricia, susan, maxine, enter, and karen. no one whose chief responsibility is to stand up for the american consumer. responsible banks and financial institutions were having to compete against those who were not responsible. under the reforms we have proposed, that will change. the new consumer financial protection agency that i have asked congress to create will have just one mission, to look out for the financial interests of ordinary americans. they will be charged with
setting clear rules of the road for consumers and banks, and they will be able to enforce those rules across the board. this agency will have the power to make certain that consumers get information that is clear and concise, in plain language, so they can compare products and know exactly what they are getting themselves into. it will insure that banks and other firms cannot hide behind these ridiculously confusing contracts, pages and pages of fine print that nobody can figure out. it will have the ability to enforce and build on the credit card reforms were passed earlier this year, so that consumers are not hit with unfair rate hikes, penalties, or hidden charges. it will require brokers to look out for the interest of families if they give advice about mortgages. it will insure transparency and fair dealing for other financial products like bank overdrafts services and payday loans. in a financial system that has never been more complicated,
that has never been -- it has never been more important to have a watchdog function like the one we have proposed. yet, predictably, a lot of the banks and big financial firms do not like the idea of a consumer agency very much. in fact, the u.s. chamber of commerce is spending millions on an ad campaign to kill it. you might have seen some of these ads, the ones who claimed that local butchers and other small businesses somehow will be harmed by this agency. this is, of course, completely polls. we make clear that only businesses that offer financial- services -- this is completely false. only businesses that offer financial services will be affected by this agency. contrary to what some have argued, this agency would not restrict consumer choice and innovation. nothing could be further from the tree. in the past, a lack of clear rules led to innovation of the wrong kind. the firms that did best for the
ones who did the best job of hiding the real costs to consumers. we do not want them competing by figuring out how much they can fool ordinary americans. by contrast, the consumer agency we are proposing would set ground rules so that firms do not have to compete to confuse families, but to give them better choices. this will also help small business entrepreneur is. all this has not stop the big financial firms and lobbyists from mobilizing against change are doing what they always do, depending on congress using every bit of influence they have to maintain the status quo that has maximize their profits at the expense of american consumers. this by the fact that recently, a bunch of the sam american consumers bail them out for the consequences of bad decisions that they may.
since they are worried they cannot kill this agency, they are trying to weaken it by asking for exemptions, by fighting to keep every gap and loophole they can find. there are very good at this, because that is how business has been done in washington for a very long time. over the last 10 years, the chamber alone spent nearly half a billion dollars on lobbying. the stories we heard today remind us that the american people cannot afford business as usual in the longer. these americans cannot afford high-priced lobbyists to argue their case. they are counting on us to be their advocate, to be their voice, to restore a sense of responsibility from wall street to washington. that is what we need a consumer financial protection agency that will stand up, not for big banks, not for financial firms, but for hard-working americans.
[applause] that is why we need regulatory reform that will reward innovation and competition instead of shortcuts and abuses. that is why we cannot let special interests win this fight. we have already seen and lived the consequences of what happens when there is too little accountability on wall street and too little protection for main street. iowa not allow this country to go bankrupt. it is time to move forward and time for real change. i am confident we will get it done with the help of all people who are here today and more importantly, with the help of the american people, we are going to demand a better deal from their financial services. thank you very much, everybody. [applause]
>> tonight, are rare opportunity to see personal interviews with current and retired supreme court justices. learn about the effect of a new justice on the court, and life after the court, tore a justice's chamber and see what it is like to write an opinion. >> and you have that dissent, it is yours. when you are writing a majority, you do not have that luxury, you have to craft it in a way that at least four other people can jump on it, and actually you try to craft in a way that as many possible -- as many people as possible will jump on. >> is the first of three nights of interviews with the justices, starting tonight at 9 eastern on c-span. to see more interviews, including all the videos aired on our series, go to c-
span.org/supremecourt. this week, senator tom harkin talks about the debate over health care legislation, and your prospects for a public auction. >> by the committees have reported a bill on health care. four of them have a public option, one doesn't. so you would think the weight would be on the side of having a public option in the bill, and that is where it is. the vast majority of democrats, over 50, close to 52 or maybe 53 democrats in the senate support a public option, so why would we then contemplate not having a public option? i think the burden is on those who are opposed to say why they
should not have a, when the majority of people are in favor of it. the bill we send to the president will have a public option in it, make no mistake about it. next you can see the entire interview with senator tom harkin on "newsmakers." >> "q&a" sunday, prize-winning arthur tracy kidder, and his return to burundi to start a health clinic, sunday night on c-span. >> some of the topics discussed at today's state department briefing include the awarding of this year's nobel peace prize to president obama and secretaries clinton's trip to europe and russia. this is about half an hour.
>> i was there when david reed secretary clint about two weeks ago on his energy strategy, so this will be a great briefing. just to pick up a few announcements before taking requests, obviously we at the department of state woke up this morning with the terrific news of the award of the nobel peace prize to president obama. the secretary will depart shortly for the white house for a high-level meeting and she will have the opportunity to congratulate the president personally. i suspect recalling some will be traveling with her tonight overseas, she will probably have more to say about that personally. from the secretary's standpoint,
not only is it will deserve, the our reach that the president has made in the first 10 months in office, but it is an affirmation of the strategy of engagement of the need to work glover to lee and multilaterally to solve the challenges of the world. -- the need to work collaborative lee and multilaterally to solve the challenges of the world. to advance the president's agenda and confront the challenges of the 21st century, certainly from our standpoint, we think this gives us a sense of momentum when the united states has accolades' tossed its way rather than shoes.
the secretary will be in zurich tomorrow to witness the signing of to protocols moving turkey and armenia towards normalization of relations and an open border. she will move then to london for consultations on high-level issues with the british government, including iran, afghanistan, and pakistan, then will move to ireland as part of our continuing commitment to that country, and also focus on economic development in northern ireland, and finally to russia for some significant discussions on a range of issues from start to iran, north korea, and the middle east peace process. they will be able to monitor the progress in bilateral presidential commission on the various working groups and she will have the opportunity to
travel and participate in activities that will show what is happening in that province. jim steinberg is on his way back from a meeting in bosnia that was convened by the deputy secretary and the swedish foreign minister for discussion with political party leaders today to outline both the u.s. and eu's shared concerns over their own going reforms. that offer ideas to help the parties move forward on political and constitutional reforms that are essential if bosnia hopes for eventual membership in nato and the eu. we would expect that there might be another high-level meeting within a couple of weeks. george mitchell remains in the middle east.
i cannot say whether he has had or will have a meeting today with prime minister netanyahu following up on meetings he has already had an israel, and he will meet tomorrow with president of bosabbas. >> how much of the nobel peace prize is the kind of award to the president for not being george bush? there was so much animosity in the national -- the international community because of the last president, it seems he has offered a new approach around the world. i think the president himself recognized there is not a lot of actual accomplishment get about the award, but it is more about
expectations. how much do you think this is an indictment of the past administration and a reward for not being george bush? >> i think double fault as a device of robert gibbs and say i think -- i think i will follow the sage advice of robert gibbs and say we do not know what the nobel committee had in mind. what is important is an affirmation of not only the strategy but the important agenda. the committee particularly singled out the challenge of non-proliferation, which has been a significant focus of the president, the secretary, and others in these first 10 months, starting with the prague speech and continuing with the session at the un a couple of weeks ago. we are mindful that as the secretary had to russia, we have ongoing discussions with russia
on a follow-on to the start treaty. we are aware that we have an important dialogue with iran and north korea and we are looking ahead to the review conference next year, finding ways to strengthen the non-proliferation treaty and the global regime. we know there is a heavy lift coming up in terms of the administration's desire to see ratification of the comprehensive test ban treaty. there is an opportunity here. the tone has changed, but while we recognize that the tone in the world has changed, the challenges remain and are very significant. the president said the right tone today in terms of looking forward and understanding that there is a lot that needs to be done, but as we go through this, we will need to see
collaborative action. the united states cannot solve this problem alone, but these problems will not be solved without the american leadership we have shown in the first 10 months. >> it does not sound like things are going very well over the long term. [unintelligible] >> i will leave it for the foreign minister -- gillon >> that the israelis for not negotiating [unintelligible] >> these are obviously extraordinarily difficult, emotional challenges we are dealing with, and they will have to be dealt with through a formal negotiation. we would expect that that
negotiation will take some time and will involve a very difficult, complex issues. we are prepared to work through that. that is why the president and secretary have called for the party's to enter negotiations as soon as possible. that is why george is in the region as we speak to try to push to that point. we are under no illusions here that even when and norm -- formal negotiation begins, there will be arguments. it will take a considerable amount of time. this is what this space in the process is all about, to find out if the parties are ready to make the affirmative commitments of front regarding settlements, regarding incitement. are the other countries of the region prepared to do their part and provide support in ways that perhaps surpassed efforts?
that is part of the ongoing assessment. as the president indicated during the general assembly, the secretary will work with the middle east team, assess where we are, and make a report to the president. >> [unintelligible] >> no other than senator mitchell and his various groupings -- briefings said that no matter what posturing not occur in advance of negotiation, that is why we have to wait until the negotiation begins. >> [unintelligible]
>> my information must tomorrow into vibration was tomorrow. -- my information was tomorrow. >> trying to get some kind of read out on [unintelligible] >> i am simply saying that is unlikely that we will have a read out from a center michal's activity before he reports back to the secretary. >> [unintelligible]
>> how she expect to explain what the united states is doing on policy? what does she do, talking to the allies, to explain where the ministration is on afghanistan? >> i have heard no u.s. government officials say that there is anything but a long- term commitment to the region and a long-term commitment to afghanistan and pakistan. we are talking about how to best carry out that commitment, how we can best serve our interests and those of the region.
i have heard no one say that we are prepared to walk away from afghanistan or pakistan or the region, expressly because it is in our interest. how will we do that best going forward? that is the purpose of the series of meetings and this broad review. as we have said continually, we are looking at the situation on the ground and looking at the implications of the election results to be determined here in the next few days. we are looking how best to make sure that we are coordinating activities on both sides of the afghan-pakistan border. this is in fact part of a long- term commitment. we are in year nine of this effort, and we will continue until we believe that we have done what we have got to do, which is to provide and help build a stable government in
afghanistan. until we have helped pakistan to stabilize the situation on its of the border, as to how long this will take, who knows? >> >> how can you describe what she is going to do with her interlocutors there? we have very little from the secretary in terms of what the thinking is. >> for example, let's choose a place on the upcoming trip. she will be in london. the united kingdom has a significant commitment in afghanistan as we do.
an assessment has been presented in brussels, so the united kingdom government is very familiar with the assessment. i suspect that they also continue to assess what is happening in the country and their particular role. i am sure that during that discussion with the prime minister and foreign minister, this will be a significant topic of discussion. i am sure she will update them on the status of the process, but how much to show how much debt that will go into, i will not prejudge -- how much depth that will go into.
>> during the presidential campaign, then presidential campaign obama discussed genocide. i wondered why there has been a change in language in the relationship with turkey. next the president released a statement on april 24 that is a reflection of the administration's position. here at the department, we are focused on 2009. that is expressly by the secretary, as will other key figures, the foreign minister of russia and france, and if i am leaving anybody out, i apologize. they will be in zurich tomorrow because they recognize the significance of this step that has been taken by turkey and
armenia after a lengthy process, but also recognizing there is still work to be done. even with the signing tomorrow, there will be parliamentary debates in both countries, but to see these two countries advance to where relations can be normalized, borders can be opened, that is a significant step by both those countries that has been supported throughout the process by the united states and the european union. this is a significant moment, which is what the secretary will be there. >> [unintelligible]
>> we are part of the process. we have done a significant amount of diplomacy on this issue, and as the president and others said, we remain committed to the basic principles that have been discussed for seven of the issue. we will remain engaged with all the parties -- for settlement of the issue. >> [inaudible]
that statement. it was a one-hour meeting at a government guest house. they sought to obtain information about the sanctions policies of the u.s., australia, and the european union. i think we appreciate the meeting. she is a vitally important meeting in the present and future of burma, but in terms of particular acts, we continue to believe that she should be released. >> [inaudible] >> we expect to have a meeting
in the short to mid term. i have nothing in particular to announce at this point. >> and the an equivocal comment about all chinese or all egyptian prisoners. >> that is a broad statement you are asking me to make. it is the policy of the united states that political prisoners who were put there as part of a process to intimidate or restrict political processes in any country should be released. we should certainly favor the idea that those countries that have restrictive political systems need to broaden them, need to make sure they include systems that produce a debate
and results that meet the needs of those people. s to a particular situation in this country or that country, the question is a little too broad. we have made significant statements over a very long period time about the fact that the detention of political activists is not helpful for the future. >> [inaudible] >> it is the policy of the united states that we refer to that country as burma. >> [inaudible] >> this is ultimately a decision
for the afghans. when you think about it, when you think about insurgencies, policing has a role, military activity has a role, but ultimately, use of insurgency's through political processes and reconciliation -- use all insurgencies. when the dialogue brings people who are currently outside the political process if not attaching the political system that exists in afghanistan to a position where they will choose to be vested in that process, we think that would be a positive development, but that ultimately would be a decision for afghanistan. >> does that mean the current administration would not --
>> certainly as the president has made clear, our presence in the region is expressly because al qaeda poses a threat to the united states, and in fact has imposed a threat to others around the world as well. we will make sure that whatever we do in the future, there will not be a safe haven weather in afghanistan or anywhere else that allows a terrorist organization and to plot and execute attacks against the united states and against our allies around the world. this is where you ultimately have to make sure your focus will not be a cookie cutter approach. there are a wide range of groups within the label of taliban, tribal figures that are used to
changing sides, depending on what is happening at a particular time. that is one of reasons why we believe that central to a solution to the current challenge in afghanistan is a competent, legitimate, effective government, and if that government reforms and deliver services to the afghan people, that reduces the space and reduces the motivation that might provide either explicit or tacit support to various groups under the umbrella called the taliban. to the extent that afghanistan wishes to engage in some kind of political process in the future, the trust to peel away support in insurgency, we think that is part of a very effective long- term counter insurgency strategy.
>> we believe that sanctions implementation has been effective. we've had a variety of people in a variety of settings talk about cooperation we are receiving from various countries. we have had some successful interdiction of cargo that has been moving out of north korea, so we think they are being successful in that north korea it is feeling the pressure as a result. will that pressure be enough to convince them to come back to the six party process and to reaffirm the committee as they have made to move toward denuclearization? that is something we cannot judge at this point.
>> another briefing from the state department looking at u.s. diplomatic efforts to provide energy security around the world. david goldman is the department's coordinator for these initiatives. he talks about his work in his upcoming trip to pakistan to help alleviate that nation's energy shortfalls. this is about 25 minutes. >> that afternoon, everybody. we have here today david coleman, who is the state department's coordinator for international energy research. he will talk about the upcoming travel he has planned. >> good afternoon. as part of the administration's energy policy, a secretary appointed me as the coordinator for international energy affairs. this morning i want to talk a little bit about what my position is and what i mean by energy security.
the main task is to ensure that energy security is integrated into the core mission of the department and to elevate energy diplomacy as a key function of u.s. foreign policy. my job will be to coordinate and gather together all the work the department does in traditional energy, renewable, nuclear, into a coherent policy to raise the profile of energy sector diplomacy in our department. obviously i will work closely with our partners in other areas and closely with our missions abroad as well. let me talk about what i mean by energy security. energy security for any country is access to diverse, affordable, reliable energy supplies, free of political or economic coercion. for the u.s., energy security has been primarily about oil security.
>> of these questions of security and stability are very much tied to their energy security. that is why when the secretary looks at the energy security, we have to use it as a tool of smart power with other countries to ensure their freedom from coercion and for us to be able to show that we care about the welfare of those countries by helping them get the electricity that they need. i will talk a little bit about security supply. my mission is to concentrate diplomatically on relationships with our key suppliers. there are the ones that we have had for a long time but are also emerging suppliers in africa and in asia. our mission is to insure that they understand the market, they have a firmer that will permit investment.
we want to promote a cadaver supply of fuel. we also want to promote unconventional fuels, which might be investment in other gases and other countries. we want to promote biofuels and renewable energy as well. on the demand side, it is to engage major consumers. we want to engage them on how they use electricity. do they do is sufficiently? can they create a different legal framework that will allow grenoble's to compete with regular energy prove that is the case of of partnering with them to eliminate energy subsidies but also talking to other countries about how they get electricity. transparency and good governance is key factors in protecting the energy markets.
part of my mission is going to be prioritized energy sector governance, talking to countries about how they sell their oil and gas and how they manage revenues. it is a conversation with countries that want to have the composition with us about how to manage the money for development and how to have a good regulator. if you have three big blocks, you are going to negotiate in a private room with three people. if you have an auction system, no one is going to wonder who won the auction and why. if you don't have an auction system, he will invite corruption. we will provide technical assistance to the countries that want our help. the transparency initiative is a very important tool in this tool box.
that is going to be a key part of the mix the that is not going to be our only to will. power sector reform is going to be another key issue. this is a policy conversation with other countries about how to get to electricity, creating an environment where people want to invest in and electricity. how do you price electricity so people can afford it and people that are port can subsidize? you cannot subsidize everything in a system that no one wants to invest. there are a number of other ways that i will pursue this agenda but i will leave that for the questions and answers. there is a number of multi lateral for rum and ways that we partner with other countries. i made my first trip to canada,
so we want them to keep doing what they are doing as well as meet their climate change obligations. next week, i will be in paris to talk about including all of the world's consumers. i will be in pakistan a week afterwards to talk about short, medium, and long-term change in pakistan and how they grow their energy sector. sometime in november, i will be in west africa to follow of the vice -- to follow up on the secretary's trip. it is very exciting for me. >> can we talk a little bit about pakistan? you talk about short and medium, long-term [inaudible]
what could be done in the short term? also, how the united states, what kinds of expertise will be necessary. [inaudible] what kinds of things to you see as possible there? if you would talk particularly about [inaudible] which i think has problems because all of the hydroelectric things [inaudible]
it is hard to get private money for that. lastly, nuclear -- presumably, there would be concerns about nuclear expertise. i think it knocks down a topic that is of great interest in the world. >> i will be able to give you more answers at the end of our conference. the united states is working with pakistan whto help beyond this energy crisis. there is not going to be any magic cure here. pakistan is not going to be subject to a short fax. -what we want to do is work with
them to create a climate where private capital would be invested in to help them articulate their own vision of an energy sector. they have a national energy plan. they have a vision in all of the sectors mentioned about what they can do. that is what we are going to spend two days in pakistan talking about. there is plenty on the books to invest in the rehabilitation of pakistan's existing infrastructure, which is a good short-term way of moving things forward. there are looking at exporting their own resources. they are looking at investment in other places. the real task is to get the macroeconomic picture right and then to find a way to enable people to recover their costs
from investing in the energy sector while still taking care of the poor. we have to do what works and pakistan. they have made progress already. you saw the tariff rate increase. pakistan and the imf are in gates together. there is lots more to be done. >> is the u.s. government thinking about [inaudible] you talk about trying to attract private capital. is the u.s. considering its own money to try to rehabilitate or enhance the area? if you are a private investor, why would you want to invest in pakistan with the insurgency of
fighting and the long history of corruption. >> i think you heard the ambassador when he was in pakistan. there is a very serious commitment. with respect to investing in pakistan, pakistan has a functioning economy. it has industrial consumers. it has a population that has the ability to pay. there is a climate for investment in pakistan. it is a question of getting prices right. there is tremendous interest in investing in their energy sector. when they see the path forward, and hopefully if they see the commitment from the united
states, making a commitment to help pakistan implement its own policy, they will see that is a place where you can invest and make money. you can name a dozen conflict countries around the world, but they have a functioning economies. they are getting the economy going and taking care of people. it is the reason to do this. >> talking about coercion in countries with biological weapons, the last administration was trying to get european countries to diversify their oil and gas supply from russia because they were too dependent on that. i was wondering if you could talk more about that area. on africa, oil was just
discovered with oil sector is developing. how much is the u.s. going to be working with these countries to help develop their own sectors? what is the connection between u.s. oil companies doing business in these countries? are you looking to american companies to make investments so that those countries have the resources to develop? is this -- are you providing the strategic guidance or are you providing aid? >> let me take the second one. africa has a tremendous diversity of resources and there is a tremendous diversity in the level of sophistication in the private sector for remarks. there are many countries that do not have electricity. the agenda in africa, i think, is to look at major producers
that do not need commercial advocacy groups. we are also seeing sierra leone and other places that have found a way to attract private investment. countries are about to become energy producers, the goal is to talk to their governments if they are interested in talking to us about how to make sure your finance ministry can manage those revenues. how to make sure that the person in charge of supervising the conduct of companies in your country does that in a way that maximizes value? we are talking about improving government. we are also talking about promoting eiti, or helping finance ministries how to deal with getting billions of dollars of revenue in your country without destroying export markets or creating -- the first
level of engagement is government to government. in other cases, there may be changes to the law. does the system that you have get to where you want to go? some places, we are just plain talking about corruption. that is the oil and gas sphere. in nigeria, they are a huge oil and gas producer but they also have incredibly short electricity shortages. how can you set up a from work or you can get investments in other parts of the economy where it is needed? it is pretty diverse. it is primarily not about promotion or directing companies. it is about the government's
improving governance. it is a good opportunity to see that there is a great energy team here in the state department. ambassador morningstar has a primary responsibility in diplomacy. there are others. energy is a tool of coercion. that has come of the most. i think you will see a continuation of the policy that we will want multiple pipelines for the supply in europe. we will want europe to continue to diversify where it gets its imports and how it uses its energy. there could be an indigenous source of new supply in europe.
ambassador morningstar spends most of his time on. you can look at other places around the world. you might look at the southern part of southern america. if you are going to be dependent on gas for electricity, when -- where are you going to get your guess? should you look at liquefied natural gas? that is where i think we need to look around and see who is vulnerable. we will have to go through the map country by country, but that is the concept. >> energy is such a security issue for many countries and a tool of power. how do you avoid the impression that the united states is doing this for itself to make sure that it has adequate resources are around the world to get energy with that in mind i try
to give this advice with the idea that this is a way of selling the foreign policy of the united states? >> the first step would to be unembarrassed about the fact that it is good for them but it is also good for the global markets. it is not the only reason. if we want to improve the integrity or the use of revenues, it is because we want the supplier to continue to be a supplier. we don't want them to have instability. we want them to be able to take care of their people. we don't disease, organized crime. i can give you a dozen reasons why it is in our interest as well as in nigeria to improve its energy sector because it is
good for everyone. the improvement will be on the content of help that we provide. we are engaging a lot of countries. europe is a classic example most of the supply of oil and natural gas that goes to europe and the countries that we care about, we are protecting the world from an investment from central asia to europe. we care about it because the fluidity of those global oil market is good for us. but every country in the world that consumes gasoline or uses gasoline for power is impacted by price volatility. everyone is a consumer. even saudi arabia is a major consumer. everybody cares about a market that is not subject to massive
disruptions. no one wants the economy to be destabilized by huge demand that has no supply to meet. my answer would be, it is helpful for us but is also held for for everybody. >> how can you help u.s. suppliers fight corruption? or the states able to be independent in the energy sector? >> in terms of engaging suppliers in the middle east, where we have partners that want to work with us, we can talk about separate government. a lot of the gulf countries and the african countries have relatively sophisticated national oil companies.
but we talk about governance and encourage them to do things like adopt the eiti. we talk to them about how the market is going to operate. some countries have adopted auction systems. you open the envelope and you hold it up. in those cases, we don't have a big agenda in terms of assistance. in other places, the conversation might be different. the g-20 has opened the door to talk to countries including in the middle east about energy subsidies. they will address their own economies and grow their own economies without using huge amounts of revenue there is a conversation to be had but it is
different in each country. in terms of the u.s. being energy independent, the way i interpret energy independence is the way i started this presentation about energy security. you want to have a system where countries are able to access the energy that they need at a reliable price without coercion. that is independent from coercion. that is having a market that works. that is moving significantly to policy in terms of whether you do or do not allow the flow of energy out of these countries. >> how do you move the politics out of it if china has this gigantic push to get resources from all over around the world? >> china is going to be front and center of our conversations.
genet is a producer, a consumer, china trade's most of the oil that it produces. it has equity shares around the world on the open market. the conversation i think with china going forward, china and the u.s. are the two countries that have the greatest amount in common in terms of having a liquid oil gas market, safety and the places in which to operate, and a system that can address oil disruptions in a major way. china would be the first place you would go to get a partner. the issue that we have often with china, what standards do they use in the places that they operate? we will talk to china about the utility -- >> not just transparency, but above the soil. china wants to invest in the oil sector in a country.
they do not have any standards for the political situation or the governments in the country. they are not as important to china. >> that is a key part of our foreign policy, to engage with the chinese in different places about where they are or where there are going. i think part of the conversation here, and it is probably best done in private diplomacy than in a public way, you can look at all the mistakes that western oil companies have made in places that they have developed in the past 20 years, and you just hope that china will not have to make the same mistakes for themselves. their return on capital is going to be impacted. there are very plain commercial reasons about worrying about investing in cases that we are worried about investing in.
they need to worry about the standards because having the communities where you operate not hate you is important in maintaining a 30-year investment. it is hard to do it right. there is not a great record for a western oil companies, but i think a lot of lessons have been blurred. it is both where and how for china, and the impact that this has spread having that conversation and injecting that into our bilateral diplomacy had a senior level is the reason my secretary clinton made this position. you can have these conversations at below level. you are not talking to policymakers. if you can mainstream energy into the conversations and you can make that part of the core of our foreign policy, he will have much more impact on how you deal with these issues.
that is what i am here for. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> tonight, a rare opportunity to see personal interviews with current and retired supreme court justices. len about the effect of a new justice on the court and life after the accord. see what it is like to write an opinion. >> when you have the dissent, it is yours. you say what you want. if you do not want to join my dissent, fine. when you are writing the majority, you do not have that luxury. you have to craft it in a way that at least four other people can jump on.
he tried to craft it in a way that as many people as possible will chomp on. >> starting tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. to see more videos, go to c- span.org/sup;remecourt. this week, senator tom harkin. senator harkin talks about the debate over health-care legislation and here's prospects for a public option. >> look, five committees have reported a bailout on health care. four of them have a public option. one does not. the majority of the american people support it. the vast majority of democrats, over 50%, probably pretty close
to 52%, maybe 53 democrats in the senate support a public option. why would we contemplate not having a public option? i think the burden for those that opposed it is why have it when the majority are in favor of that. that is why i say the bill that we send to the president will have a public option. >> you can see the entire interview with senator tom harkin on "newsmakers" on c- span. >> this weekend, the brooklyn the book festival with panels on the media, the economy, and the future of publishing. tom ridge, and the challenges he
faced. find the entire schedule online. >> pulitzer prize-winning author tracy kidder on a student that nearly extinct civil war and genocide who came to the u.s. with hopes to complete his education. sunday night on c-span. >> minnesota senator al franken spoke at an event on monday about the future of the music industry. this is hosted by a group called the future of music coalition. it is about 45 minutes. >> will come back, everybody. we are thrilled to have such a great, enthusiastic crowd. we are looking forward to a real
fun afternoon for those of you to enjoy this kind of thing. we have been able to count on mike for a lot of issues. he and his band have stood on a lot of issues that they did not have to get involved with. in 2003, mike was there. when we launched a campaign to talk about the importance of an open internet and for net neutrality, mike was there. we are really appreciated of this program. i am happy to introduce mike mills. [applause] >> some years ago, i was reading
a book that was a satire. as i was reading it, i could not help but think about the question posed in the title of the book. as to why not, al franken? i'd continue to think about that. apparently, the good people of the state of minnesota could not come up with a good answer to that either. [applause] due to their wisdom and insight and intelligence, thanks to the good people of minnesota, i have the honor and pleasure of introducing senator al franken. [applause]
>> of of how the future of music coalition gives exposure to new artists like mike. [laughter] i have had my eye on these guys, rem, and you watch out. they are going to take off. they are out of this whole athens, georgia, scene. look out for some young kids called the b-52's. [laughter] may be, michael you should have them here next year. [laughter] thanks for holding this in such a futuristic-looking room. [laughter] thank you, mike, for referencing my least successful book. [laughter]
as you probably all know, i got to the senate a little late but i did not get here too late. we are debating issues of major consequence right now, health care, the economy, the course of the war in afghanistan. one of the issues that you do not hear about as much, the one that will tremendously impact our lives, the economy, and the future of music is net neutrality. several years ago, and i cannot remember exactly when, the mid to late 90's, i gave a speech. i remember asking what cool things they were working on. later, a guy came up to me and took me aside and said he was working on an unmanned aerial vehicle the sizae of an insect.
i was really excited about that. it evidently, that did not happen. they did not make the bug-sized unmanned vehicle work. with a camera and a hellfire missile on it. [laughter] today, the internet is the town square. thomas jefferson famously said that given a choice between government without newspapers and newspapers without government, he would not hesitate to prefer the latter. if he were here today, i think he would see the internet in much the same light. fortunately, we do not have to make that choice. because the internet is a platform for speech, debate, and
creativity, and because it is neutral, government has to play a role in making sure that it stays that way. let me add that this is a fundamental political philosophy that i bring as a senator to many of our national challenges. the government's job is to make sure that everybody gets a chance to start at the starting line, at the same starting line. at least everyone starts at the same starting line. that is how the internet developed. the fcc treated the internet as a common carrier, similar to the phone. meaning that anyone had the right to access it however they wanted, so long as they were not breaking the law. as high-speed internet became available, the cable and telecom
industries convince the fcc to change the rules to give service providers the power to "use network management," the weight of squeezing more cash out of their networks. the freedom and openness of the internet has become seriously challenged. right now, a blog loads just as quickly as a corporate web page. an e-mail from your mother comes in just as moved as a bill from your large bank. an independent bookstore can process your order as quickly as barnes and noble. in a garage band can stream its songs just as easily as a multi- platinum super band like r.e. n.
you do not like the internet now so much do you, mike? if i said those words correctly, it would've helped of the joke. [laughter] recently, business executives from top isp's have declared their interest in offering "prioritized" internet service to companies who can pay for it. the company like microsoft or amazon could pay for it content to be delivered over a high- speed network. that would transform the internet from a free, open, and competitive playing field into a pay for play arena in which citizens, nonprofits, and small businesses are outgunned by major media conglomerate spread that would transform the world
wide web into a system of separate and unequal networks. it raises two major issues as i see it. it raises the issue of censorship. once service providers are in the business of deciding what speed, they come close to deciding what kind of content moves at all. this is about entrepreneurialism and innovation. great innovations can only take place on indiana -- on an even playing field with the little guys can go head-to-head with the big guys. if you change the rules of the game to benefit the big guys, innovation will suffer. the issue is not just what will be blocked from us but the issue is what might never be developed in the first place. let me talk about each of these. first, censorship.
take a look at iran. every internet provider uses filters to control the websites and e-mail that users can access they use a technology to inspect every e-mail, facebook post, and tweet that anyone sends, and in realtime. they can block content in real- time to anything that they deem as an objection. you might say that is a terrible situation. it is happening to iran, and this is not iran. we are not iran, but that is not stopping several companies from taking similar technology out for a test run. you may remember that in 2007, verizon refused to allow the
pro-choice group to send text messages even though they signed up to receive them. verizon's explanation was that they had the right to block "controversial or unsavory messages." the second example, comcast has used the technology to blcok ock lawful peer-to-peer communication. as it bigger fans that you may be of president bush, this was not the right thing for at&t to do and that was personally embarrassed. as i know mike was. the stifling of openness on the
internet is not only about censorship. it in the future, it could be a product of business at work, of isp's turning a bigger profit. the chief technology officer for bell south recently said, "i can buy a coach ticket or a first- class ticket. the internet should be the same way." the ceo of verizon made the same point when he said that we need to make sure that there is the right economic model that we need to pay for the pipe. one provider proposes a system where consumers can pay for light internet use, a higher fee for heavier use, but an exception for people who access only the content created by that provider. that is a business motive that
has the affect of limiting speech. as far as i am concerned, free- speech limited or free speech delayed is the same as free speech denied. [applause] the internet is the town hall of the 21st century. in a court decision, justice stevens rode through the use of chat rooms, and the person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates further than they could from and the soap box with the use of web pages and news groups. the same individual can become a pamphleteer. i know that you know that the this is from a pretty old supreme court justice who is pretty smart. i served on the judiciary committee. on my fourth day in the senate,
we were dealing with the nomination of a judge sonia sotomayor, now justice sonia sotomayor. i asked her about whether she thought the american public had a compelling first amendment interest in censuring the internet or insuring the internet stays open and accessible. i will paraphrase her answer. "yes." as noisy and messy as it may be, the internet is a democracy. because of that, it is a critical part of our democracy. that may not always be the case. let me add that among the people who would be heard the most our rural users, who like many in my
home state of minnesota often have access to one single isp. if that isp cuts special deals with big companies or companies that the isp owns, users will be subjected only to the viewpoints that the isp favors. the profit margin should never, the cost of free speech and open internet because while they may benefit, we all lose. it is not just the material that could be centered, it is innovation itself. in america, we think an individual with a big idea is just as worthy as competing with a company with a big market share. the loss of a mutual internet would mean that the market would no longer be ameritocracy.
youtube was founded in 2005 above a pizzeria in california. at the same time, the most popular video application was something called google video. don't get me wrong, i love google. you can search anything. put in michael mills, you get the wikipedia entry for michael mills, but i digress. because it is so well designed, youtube quickly gained a user base and gradually overcame video. as we know, the google actually bought youtube and retired google of video. this all happened because they competed on the same playing field, accessed the same internet, and consumers saw that
youtube was better. it in a world where google can pay an isp for premium access compared google video would have secured status. youtube would have floated slowly to windows users and we would still be stuck with google video. it is at stake is not just what can be taken away. it is never what could have been created in the first place. the internet has been a tremendous platform for innovation and entrepreneurship. guaranteeing its continued success is about the economic future of our country. i know many of you in the music and entertainment industry are concerned about where the net neutrality fits in with your efforts against piracy. having spent much of my life as
a writer and entertainer, i own the copyright, too. net neutrality is and must be explicitly a matter of protecting lawful content applications and usage. whether we do it through statutes or regulations, isp's must and will retain the rifght to combat on lawful uses of the internet. you may remember when senator ted stevens insightfully pointed out that the internet is not just something you've done something on. it is a series of tubes. [laughter] in making that statement, i think the senator illustrated why some members of congress might not be the right people to answer that technological question. that is why it is good news that
the fcc is taking the lead in this battle. recently, a chairman who will -- who you will hear from today, announced that the commission will be issuing pro-net neutrality regulations. [applause] the commission rules will emphasize non-discrimination, barring isp's from discriminating against internet content or applications, and transparency requiring isp's to be open about their management practices. he is right. an isp not be able to prioritize it traffic over other traffic. we need to be serious about transparency. isp should have's to disclose to consumers and the practices that may affect communications between a user and a content
application or service provider. this ensures that when isp's do take actions, users will find out. also, we need to acknowledge that sometimes, it is citizens and not the government that are in the best position to protect the internet. we need to empower users to file complaints directly to the fcc and allow them to recover damages in certain instances. finally, we need to give the experts at the fcc the flexibility that they need to solve this complicated set of problems. rest assured, we know that senator stevens is no longer here to lend us his expertise, but i will be standing ready to work with congressmen to make
sure we get it right. for the first time, it looks like we might actually do this. the sec is on board as well as critical leaders in congress. president obama has consistently voiced support for the net neutrality. he has put it on the top of his internet agenda. we now have both the president and an sec chairman that strongly supports the cause. this is not to say that the debate is over adand won. my colleagues have already introduced legislation to block our efforts. federal regulators should not be telling internet service providers how to run their business. net neutrality will "micromanage
what has been a vibrant and well functioning market place." ignore for the moment that a leading newspaper would come out against the bill that whose parish includes protection of free speech. let me say that net neutrality is not a matter of me this government intervention. it is a necessary response to verifiable instances of isp's discriminating against users based on applications they use. is's are voicing their support for a separate but unequal internet. it is a 21st century reiteration of one of our most important constitutional rights, the right of free speech. it protects the free-market. a century ago, president teddy
roosevelt road, "above all else, we must strive to keep the highways of commerce open to all on equal terms." he may have been riding in a different time and addressing different technology, but his purpose is just as relevant today. thank you. [applause] >> let's do it in comfy chairs. >> i am curious, as to go back a little ways to the beginning of your political career. at what point did you decide that you're going to run? was there an incident that made it happen? were you angry at someone in the
government? were you frustrated about someone's actions or lack of actions? was there a tipping point? >> when people ask me about -- a lot of people considered my career arc very unusual. and account -- and counter intuitive. it made perfect sense to me. i have always written political satire. i always wrote about politics. i have always been interested in politics. i grew up during the civil rights struggle. my dad was a republican until 1964. he would sit in front of the tv and we would watch the demonstrators in the south. he would say that is wrong.
because it barry goldwater was against the civil rights act, my dad became a democrat. this has always been real important to me. people who write comedy very often have a serious side to them. on that saturday night live, the role of the show was not to have a political point of view. jim downey was pretty conservative. we kept each other honest. i thought we did great stuff together, with other people on the show as well. when i left, i started writing my own the political stuff. i wrote about how rush limbaugh was a big fat indiot and other
observations. [laughter] i also did a radio show. it actually seemed to be kind of daa natural thing for me to consider. my kids became -- we became empty neters. we moved back to minnesota. i was doing uso tours at the time, going to iraq and afghanistan. i was thinking about running. i remember making the decision. i was in iraq. i would have to take two years out of my life. i would not be able to make any income. what will i put my family through? i saw these men and women there. and what their families were going through.
many of them were on their fourth or fifth tour. i said, how can i not do this? i am really serious about my job. i am really serious about doing the work of the people in minnesota and the people in this country. this is a very important issue. that is why i came here today. >[applause] >> so, now that you are in this most elitist society, how are you finding it? is it proving to be more difficult than you imagined? are you finding more partisanship than you expected or less? is the hope of going forward something that you are fighting
to be considerable? >> it sort of depends on the issue. there are issues where there is complete bipartisanship. some issues are just regional. some issues are just -- paul wellstone said the purpose of politics is not to win elections. it is not for power. it is to improve people's lives. i had a little bit of time during the election and when i got here. i worked on a bill that was inspired by a veteran that was wounded. i saw how much his life was improved. my first bill was to create a pilot program that would provide wounded veterans with
service dogs that can do amazing things. we have so many guys coming back with ptsd who were depressed. these dogs were wonderful things. i reached out to a pretty conservative republican and i asked him to be a lead co- sponsor. he did. i got lindsey gramm and john ensign. the bill passed. i think it is going to go through the congress and will get funded. i will be very active with that. that issue was not partisan at all. now we have the very important issue, the much bigger issue of health care in general. i am finding that to be more partisan than i would have
liked, obviously. i think chairman pockets held out hope for bipartisanship. i think he has been disappointed by that. we have to get health care done. we have to provide affordable, quality health care for everybody in america just like every other industrial western country desperate they do it at less cost than we do it and they get better outcomes. i am optimistic about doing it. i am not optimistic about it being bipartisan. >> there are no real alternatives being offered from the side. >> that is really the disappointing part. going back to the thing about not winning elections, it is about improving people's lives. there is nothing you